Low-carbon and resource intelligence were the topics of the Sustainable Flow workshop

9.2.2024Hanna KajanderNews

What actions have ports and port stakeholders taken to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in recent years? What have these changes meant in terms of investments and what has been their impact? These were some of the questions addressed by some thirty event participants from Rauma and Pori on Friday 2nd February 2024.

Computer screen and blurred people behind it.
The Sustainable Flow project supports the sustainable flow of goods and the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions through pilot ports. (Photo: Hanna Kajander)

Sustainable Flow is a project under the Interreg Central Baltic programme to develop the operations of seven pilot ports in the Baltic Sea region to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Its first face-to-face meeting with stakeholders in Finland took place in Rauma in early February. The event was opened with a welcome and project presentation by Project Manager Heikki Koivisto from SAMK.

— The aim of the project is to develop practical tools for stakeholders and to raise awareness of what both individuals and organisations can do in terms of the green theme, Koivisto said.

The project has its roots in the Efficient Flow project, which developed the highly acclaimed Port Activity App.

— The know-how and experience accumulated in the Efficient Flow serves as a good base to be utilized in the Sustainable Flow, says Koivisto.

A representative of the Ministry of Transport and Communications shared her current thoughts on emissions trading in maritime transport. Niina Honkasalo, a negotiating officer in the Climate and Environment Unit, summarised her presentation on the emissions trading system (EU ETS), how and where it is applied at the moment and in the future, its benefits and challenges, for example, taking into account the specificities of Finnish shipping. Honkasalo's greetings were a welcome briefing given that the ETS has only been applied to maritime transport since this year as part of the EU's Fit for 55 strategy.

In addition to Honkasalo, the audience heard about the sustainable development activities of the ports of Rauma and Pori, as well as the thoughts of representatives of stakeholders closely related to port operations on how to cut carbon dioxide emissions in port operations. A number of important points were raised in the Q&A sections of the presentations. Many operators have long been making green choices, but from a resource-wise perspective, one challenge is that not everything is in their control: many investments require (e.g. hydrogen/new fuels) the corresponding infrastructure, which is out of the hands of port operators and requires action also from public authorities and the electricity grid company. Furthermore, vessel types vary a lot and it is not reasonable in the long term to build a 100,000 euro electricity plug without users.

Concerns about the payback period and the return on investment were also raised. For example, it does not make sense to electrify everything, even if it would mean achieving emission reductions: port operations are critical in terms of national security of supply and hence cannot run on electricity alone.

At the end of the event, Matias Toivola, a representative of the so called digital native generation, exhorted all to reflect on how artificial intelligence could be used to process the huge amounts of data, for example. As digital natives are already entering the work life, streamlining work to meet today's opportunities is inevitable for the rather traditional and conservative maritime industry.

See the workshop's presentation: (mostly in Finnish)
1. Sustainable Flow -hanke. Koivisto, H.
2. Meriliikenne päästökaupassa. Honkasalo, N. (FIN)
3. Sustainable Flow Rauman Satama. Laiho, J. (FIN)
4. Sustainable Flow Porin Satamassa. Heinonen, K. (FIN)
5. EuroSports - Sustainability Roadmap. Kivi, J.
7. CO2 ja energia tehokkuus satamahinauksessa. Håkans, A. (FIN)
8. CO2-päästöjen vähentäminen Finnpilotin toiminnassa, Kauko K. (FIN)
9. CO2-päästöt varustamon silmin, Hakala M. (FIN)


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